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'I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians'
(Îmi este indiferent daca în istorie vom intra ca barbari)

Screening on Film
Directed by Radu Jude.
With Ioana Iacob, Alexandru Dabija, Alex Bogdan .
Romania/Germany/Bulgaria/France/Czech Republic, 2018, DCP, color, 140 min.
Romanian with English subtitles.
DCP source: Beta Cinema

“These words,” explains Radu Jude, “spoken in the Council of Ministers of the summer of 1941, started the ethnic cleansing on the Eastern Front. The film is an answer to that phrase.” In examining Romania’s collusion with Nazi Germany and that union’s subsequent erasure from national memory, Jude breaks all kinds of cinematic etiquette in his provocatively playful dissection of history and its representation. The first thing to go is the fourth wall when Ioana Iacob introduces herself as Mariana Marin (not coincidentally sharing a name with the radical Romanian poet silenced under Ceauşescu), the director of a city-sponsored, public reenactment of the bloody Odessa Massacre in which thousands of Ukranian Jews were killed by both German and Romanian troops. Mariana’s own dictatorial bent and artistic vision are increasingly challenged by her ideologically diverse mix of volunteer players and even the open-minded city official trying to soften the edges of her audacious attempt at societal vivisection. Incorporating incriminating archival footage and photographs with extended dialogue sequences of intellectual exposition, and even the complex power dynamics within Mariana’s personal life, Jude’s film is not only interrogating Romania, it is investigating inherent problems with the creation and reception of political art even as his own unfolds.

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